Raw Recap, April 28th 2014

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May 1, 2014 by Joey Keogh

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After a remarkably strong few weeks, following the excellent Wrestlemania 30 event, the next Pay Per View show has been looming ominously on the horizon. Last week’s Raw, in particular, offered an unbalanced, yet still mostly entertaining show, with a few little bumps along the way, suggesting that maybe the grip is slipping slightly. This week, things take a more bizarre turn, with an appearance from Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, more non-matches than lengthy, brutal bouts showcasing skill and talent, and an angle focusing entirely on the presence of a certain wrestler’s iconic mask in a display case – it was that kind of Raw – but weirdly, it sort of worked.

We open with a recap of last week’s match pitching John Cena against all three members of the loony Wyatt family, which ended with Cena almost pulling his usual win at the last minute but then not. (How come nobody tried to intervene, like they did with Daniel Bryan? Is Cena really that hated by the other Superstars?) The gathered crowd in St. Louis, Missouri tonight have lots and lots of crazy signs but they aren’t particularly loud. They refuse to even give the steel cage the respect it’s due as it is lowered down into the ring, scored by its own theme song as always. But they will cheer Cena, sort of, as he enters sadly, looking a bit like he’s on the rag, and proceeds to walk joylessly to the ring, not even pausing to salute the cameraman. He takes his time getting there, too.

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

This allows Michael Cole the opportunity to reveal that tonight we can look forward to a tag team championship match, along with a public apology from Stephanie Mc Mahon over what happened with Bryan last week, and finally Roman Reigns and Randy Orton will face each other in a bra-and-panties match, to satiate the appetites of the shrieking ladies present who lose their shit at the mere mention of their hometown hero’s name. Cena has finally made it to the ring, and he has one question on his mind – “Why?” And no, it’s not why is he insisting on holding that hat in his hand the whole time, because clearly it’s down to the fact that he knows he couldn’t clear the top of the cage if he threw it. The camera cuts to a fat dude in the front row, who’s animatedly trying to explain to his bored-looking girlfriend what’s going on, because it’s all terribly complicated.

Cena asks why the fans chose the Wyatts to face him, and someone takes the opportunity to yell the rather succinct “You suck, Cena!” – something which happens again and again, as he’s begging for support. Thankfully, there’s one lad in the front row enthusiastically thrusting an oversized poster of the man himself throughout his speech. He probably won’t make it to the end of the show, but at least he’s trying. Cena then incorrectly quotes the most famous Harvey Dent line, from that Batman film nobody saw, before referencing far superior wrestlers than himself, including Bryan, for whom a “Yes” chant immediately starts, and even some choice dudes from NXT. He points out that he’s always put the WWE first, while Bray Wyatt, on the other hand, only puts himself first.

That’s not strictly true, as he obviously has a penchant for a quality Hawaiian shirt and seems to treat those other two bearded swamp people quite well. They certainly don’t look malnourished or anything. Just as he’s starting to blab a bit, the lights cut out, and a small child’s squeaky voice fills the arena, singing that song that Wyatt himself has made a sort-of hit the past few weeks (it shouldn’t work, because it makes no sense, but it does). As it turns out, it’s a whole choir of squeaky-voiced children, all of whom are clad in black robes. They follow Bray down the ramp as he encourages them to sing – at first, hilariously out of time with each other – about “itty bitty babies” and “the Cenation” among others. The wide shot reveals that they all have sheep masks attached to their backs, which means the two dudes in the front row who look shocked and terribly confused have absolutely no reason to be so, when the lights flash off, and then on again, to reveal everyone wearing them.

cenaSH

@ShewHedd

The crowd, understandably, boo the shit out of this whole setup, and even Cena looks to be taking a quick nap in his hand in the middle of the ring as it’s all happening. This lengthy segment ends with Bray, rocking back and forth in his chair, with a clearly uncomfortable child in his lap, as he laughs maniacally (so, are we going to see any wrestling tonight, or..?) Cole reckons this is one of the most chilling moments in Raw history, in spite of the fact that he has, presumably, witnessed such bizarre events as Taker crucifying Stone Cold, Kane setting JR on fire, Mankind attacking JR (in a totally separate incident, JR is just really unlucky) and my personal favourite, JBL hitting Cena with his car. In the context of those moments, and countless others, this opening was very misjudged and quite PG, especially because the child chosen to sit with Bray had very obvious eye/ear holes cut into his/her mask, thus ruining the whole cult mystique. Get it together, Creative!

skully skullTag Team Championship Match: The Usos -v- Rybaxel
Finally, a match! Only half an hour into the show! How the hell did Rybaxel end up vying for the tag team championship title? Have they done something behind the scenes that we don’t know about, like maybe learning how to move in the goddamn ring? Ryback’s onesie makes it look as though he threw up on himself, and the crowd boo him like crazy, but then they only kind of cheer The Usos, which is sad considering the amount of time and effort they’ve been putting in lately. According to Cole, Jimmy is on the left, which I’m sure will keep who’s who clear for the entire match. There are a lot of by-the-numbers moves to start off with, mostly consisting of uppercuts, dropkicks and the odd Power-bomb, before the Big Splash, which is a really silly name for a finisher, makes a fleeting appearance. The Usos eventually decide to show off what they can do by simultaneously launching themselves out of the ring to tackle their opponents, but in doing so Jey hurts his ankle, so he’ll spend the rest of the match limping around while his brother desperately tries to tag him in (remember, Jimmy is on the left). There are a number of obvious botches, with no effort made to disguise them, before Axel gets Jimmy (maybe?) in some sort of rubbish-looking arm lock. “Jey is injured!” Cole informs us, a bit too enthusiastically, before Jimmy uses Ryback/Axel to Suplex Ryback/Axel. Jey then gets involved again to perform another Suplex, and pin Axel, who kicks out easily. There’s an impressive Samoan Drop, and then Ryback does a little dance before he delivers a Spine-buster. He tries to get the jump on Jey by sneaking up behind him, but he turns to dropkick him before he can strike. This somehow leads to Ryback yell-whispering “Finish him!” and delivering a Shell-shocker, which Jey counters easily, and follows up with a joint Suplex along with his brother, to win the match.
Winners: The Usos (let’s celebrate with victory face-paint)

Subscribe to the Network! Watch more Legends House! Hugh Jackman is going to be here later! Adam Rose is still a thing and he’s coming SOON! These messages are delivered courtesy of Cole and his never-ending enthusiasm for utter bollocks. Backstage, Paul Heyman is with his client Cesaro, who did not beat the streak and who is not the one in 21-1. Rob Van Dam apparently got under Heyman’s skin last week, as did Taker, and look what happened to him! Cesaro gets one line during this entire promo, which means soon he’ll be silent like Brock Lesnar.

This is followed up with a recap of last week’s brutal takedown of Daniel Bryan at the hands of Kane, for which Steph plans to apologise later. Cole uses the word “hellacious” to describe what happened between them, which is a nice step up from “befuddled”, his old favourite. Backstage again, Kane’s infamous mask is on display in a cabinet, like it’s a goblet from the Middle Ages. A section of the crowd applauds it, which is incredibly offensive given how little attention they paid to the cage earlier. Show some respect, crowd.

skully skullSheamus -v- Titus O’Neill
This is an odd match up, borne mostly of the fact that Sheamo, though a likeable personality and gifted performer, is quite bland in comparison to certain colleagues like Cesaro, and as a result the WWE aren’t sure quite what to do with him at the moment (have him feud with Barrett, damn it!) so here he is, up against Titus O’Neill, whose most interesting quality is that he now has a beard. Titus actually ambushes Sheamo mid-entrance, right as he’s gearing up to do his “Fellaaaaaaa” bit, further driving home the idea that interrupting entrances is hilarious – remember Sandow, talking over a theme song a couple weeks back, like he was Ron fucking Burgundy? Amazing. The referee struggles to pull Titus off Sheamo, as the camera pans back to reveal a sign which reads “Triple Power Bomb Her” with an arrow to the chick sitting next to the holder – I’d prefer to be Pile-driven personally, but each to their own. The match begins with Titus locking Sheamo into the corner and going nuts on him. Sheamo quickly turns it around to deliver the Brogue Kick. And that is it. That’s the whole match.
Winner: Sheamus (he’s so bland he disappears into the mat, but also he’s quite white, so that isn’t helping really)

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

Earlier this week, there was a TWEET WAR between Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler and Hugh Jackman. At least, they’re pretending Jackman was involved, but really, the others duked it out in typically hilarious fashion, as wrestlers are wont to do on Twitter (see Summer Rae v Fandango, a few weeks back) and Jackman’s PR person turned up at the end of it all to send a very professional Tweet about how much he was looking forward to being on Raw again. There’s another ridiculously stupid Bolieve promo, which once again showcases that wonderful stock footage, before the men in question appear, with Ziggles sporting a fancy suit jacket over his usual, fashionably-distressed T-shirt. He’s excited for summer because “bikinis get tighter” – what, like in winter they’re loose to retain warmth? – and he’s done his roots especially for tonight, so we know this is serious shit.

That rather badly-scored X-Men trailer that’s currently making the rounds is then broadcast, to little fanfare, before Jackman enters – to the same music as before? – looking like a teeny, tiny little man opposite Ziggles. Last time he was here, he attacked him, and also Zack Ryder was a thing (does that mean Ziggler’s career is going to suffer the same fate soon?). He opens with three pops in a row for the city, showing he knows what he’s doing, before revealing that he is a total mark and is even more excited to be on the show than LL Cool J was to be within groping distance of the Bellas. After delivering an incredibly insightful line, describing Raw thusly: “Anything can happen and something usually does” (wow, that’s deep/factual), Ziggles confuses him by grabbing his hand so he can raise their arms simultaneously – normal thing for two bros to do, but maybe Jackman is a germaphobe? He does look remarkably clean this evening.

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

The reason for this little interlude is revealed as none other than Damien Sandow emerges in a cheap Magneto costume – basically an all-in-one burgundy dressing gown with a hood – to wax lyrical about how the WWE Universe are “inferior insects”, before shushing their boos with a very Ron Burgundy-esque “Be quiet, I’m not finished” (perhaps he is genuinely paying homage to the great anchorman, which should piss Cole off no end). Sandow reckons Ziggles is acting his hair colour (“Super rad?” he quips – these two bounce off each other really well) and that he will meet the same fate (“I don’t speak jive” – buddy comedy alert, in the same vein as Ride Along perhaps) while the crowd encourage a beat-down and Sandow brilliantly responds “Don’t tell me what to do” It probably isn’t improv, but it’s genius nonetheless. Jackman, who has been waiting for his line for, like, forever enquires as to whether Sandow made his own costume because it’s really impressive.

This leads “Magneto” to demonstrate the power of magnets (really, Jackman’s acting skills) by pulling his mic towards him. Jackman reveals his trick and flips Sandow, after which Ziggles Power-bombs him, which will literally be his only move tonight. He removes his suit jacket, and then his shirt, so he and Wolverine can celebrate on the top ropes. Next up, there’s a recap of the whole Evolution angle from last week, during which Cole refers to the tag team in question as “Devolution” and factions as “fashions” Maybe he’s applying for a position covering fashion week carnage, instead of wrestling? Seems like a natural progression for him, and it’ll give him more space to bullshit. The Shield laid waste to everyone on Smackdown last week, which we are shown in a recap that showcases what seems like a bloody good match on that show, and which probably should’ve been featured on this one instead. Was it bumped to make room for more Wolverine? Why was Brad Maddox there but he isn’t here tonight? Will 3MB ever win a match? These questions, and more, will probably not be answered on tonight’s show. Or ever.

skully skullJack Swagger -v- Cesaro
Since we’re in the heart of Missoura tonight, Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter have to whisper their “We The People” chant as they descend the ramp, which is pretty funny to watch because it makes zero sense. Colter had a debate with Heyman on SD, during which the latter referred to the great moustached one as “Grampa” The man himself emerges to absolutely kill it yet again, with an amazing knock knock joke, involving a “Mike who?” line. It’s brilliant, so much so that it almost distracts from the match, which is short, but still decent. It begins with the two struggling to gain dominance over each other, before Cesaro picks Swagger up, but instead of swinging him, drops him twice, completely demobilising him. King takes the opportunity to quip that Heyman’s mother got morning sickness after he was born, to which JBL rather hilariously replies “That’s not true!” In spite of their lack of attention, the action is pretty impressive in the ring, with both participants hitting their spots well throughout. There’s fluidity, an ease, to the proceedings that showcases how well these two are matched, and indeed how effortlessly they work together. Outside the ring, Heyman grabs Colter by the moustache which distracts Swagger for long enough to allow Cesaro to deliver a German Suplex, and win.
Winner: Cesaro (hopefully he’ll get to speak again, soon, too)

Backstage, Cena is wandering around, clutching his hat as though he’s still unsure what the hell he’s supposed to do with it (put it on, maybe?) Renee approaches him, because she is a real journalism after all, and tries to get an answer out of him regarding what happened earlier, but for once, Cena is speechless. There’s another shot of Kane’s mask in its display case and the crowd cheer yet again. One more shot and it’ll be overkill.

skully skullCody Rhodes -v- Alberto Del Rio
No entrance for ADR, sadly, and he takes his anger out on Cody, cornering him immediately by ambushing him as he’s shaking Goldust’s hand, who is watching ringside throughout. He performs a Suplex from the corner, Cody kicks out, the crowd sort-of cheers. “RAW Is Sandow” sign is visible in the crowd, which is great timing. It’s spot after spot after spot, a collision of body-slams, power-bombs, dropkicks, until ADR grabs Cody in a headlock, out of which he struggles before turning it around to dropkick him. ADR them administers a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker, which causes Cole to remind JBL he isn’t welcome in Mexico, just as ADR is working hard to twist Cody into an arm-breaker, out of which Cody taps.
Winner: ADR (a great match, that should not have ended in a goddamn tap-out)

The official theme of Extreme Rules is a song called “Come With Me Now” by a band known to their family and friends (and no one else) as Kongos. So get ready to be sick of this shit by Sunday. Backstage, Heyman and Cesaro are whispering about something we can’t hear, which negates the idea of filming them at all.

skully skullAlexander Rusev -v- Xavier Woods
Lana
is still the most interesting thing about Rusev, even though she’s from Florida, which kind of ruins the illusion. Apparently, Rusev has a handicap match against Woods and his jobber buddy R-Truth at ER. Double squash! Seriously, though, what has he done to deserve it? Are Ziggler and Sandow even going to be present at this PPV? At least he can take a hit, as he demonstrates during this match (he is mostly beanbag though, so that’s a given). He goes for the Accolade almost immediately, yet again, but this time R shows up to intervene and chucks him out, and that’s it, that’s the heat for Sunday, twenty seconds of fighting.
Winner: Alexander Rusev (by DQ, but still the same old squash)

Renee is backstage with RVD, who always surprises with how good of a talker he is. Seemingly totally out of it yet again, though, he tries to count how many times he’s been the Intercontinental Champion on his fingers and comes up with eleventy billion, which impresses Renee no end. Colter appears out of nowhere, greets no one, and gets right to the point – he reckons he and RVD have a common enemy and they should team up to tackle him as one. RVD is too busy practising that thing he does with his thumbs to get involved, and so he demonstrates it twice as a way to let Grampa down gently. Renee stands by, trying to conceal her laughter. Elsewhere, Legends House is still number one on the Network! Hooray! And Colter is now having a secret chat with Swagger somewhere else backstage. Are they whispering about whatever it was Heyman and Cesaro were discussing earlier? We’ll never know, it’s all very mysterious.

skully skullLos Matadores & El Torito -v- 3MB & Hornswoggle
The whole idea behind this match is to push that Torito and Swoggle are competing on the ER pre-show this Sunday in what has rather dubiously been titled a “WEE-L-C” match. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same shit as last week, only Slater is involved instead of Mahal. There are lots of “Olè” moments, even though the matadors aren’t actually doing much of anything. Heath Slater is better than this, though, he deserves to be in a proper match, or at least a silly one against Fandango or someone. JBL reckons Torito needs his shots, which is probably true because euw, foreigners, right? He and Swoggle squabble outside the ring for a bit and Mahal tries to break it up, thereby getting himself kicked in the crotch in the process. A matador takes over and pulls man and bull apart apart. But somehow, in the background, 3MB have won!? For the first time EVER!? Will they be allowed to party on Adam Rose’s bus in celebration or are they still not quite that rock ‘n’ roll?
Winners: 3MB (well deserved, lads, well deserved)

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

It’s time for Steph’s apology, which means we get to hear her awesome entrance music yet again (Queendom is a great word, sisters). Bryan enters with Brie, who is sporting his new hoodie and leading a “Yes” chant as she does so. He looks pretty battered, but in fairness, his father just died so he probably isn’t really up for this. His eyes are red and puffy, aside from the neck brace he’s sporting for authenticity, and he looks as though he hasn’t slept in about five years. Steph tries to placate him but, after listening to her for about five minutes, he declares that she is “full of crap”, for which the crowd cheers their agreement.

She urges him to come to the ring, because nothing bad will happen and Kane totally isn’t hiding under there. Bryan refuses, confirming he’s cleared to compete on Sunday, and if Kane takes him down, “I’m taking him down with me, straight to Hell” Steph assures him the mask is locked up safely, and being watched by at least one, er, security guard, so no problem. She then reveals that Tamina Snuka is set to fight Paige for the Divas title on Sunday, but that tonight Brie is going to get a chance first, as a token of gratitude – that does explain why she’s in her ring gear. Finally, we get what we’ve been waiting for all night, an ominous shot of the empty case as Brie strolls down to the ring, totally unaware of the danger lurking beneath.

skully skullDivas Championship Match: Brie Bella -v- Paige
Although she still shouts far too much, Brie has learned a lot from working with her husband, and if this match wasn’t purely a vehicle to showcase the fact that Kane is on the loose, it might’ve been a good opportunity to see what she can do opposite current champ Paige. As it stands, we get some decent spots from these two – who are pretty well-matched, size-wise – with a few power-bombs, the obligatory dropkicks, and even a Super-plex, but then it all goes a bit weird as the lights cut out, the fires start, and Kane emerges from under the ring, where he’s been hiding for god knows how long. He grabs Brie’s foot and starts dragging her towards him, leading Bryan to leap to her defence, and get thrown out immediately. He returns with a wrench and pummels Kane, but he sits up like Michael Myers just as the happy couple are trying to make their escape (Paige fled the scene almost immediately, she knows what’s up, she’s from Norwich). He choke-slams Bryan and starts dragging Brie again. For one, wonderful moment, it looks like she might actually disappear under the ring with him, which genuinely would’ve been the highlight of the night for me, but she escapes and then there’s more fire to finish it all off.
Winner: ? (this PG era sucks sometimes – drag her under the ring!)

Backstage, Bryan is trying to figure out if he’s paralysed, when Steph turns up to apologise again and Brie gets rid of her by calling her a “bitch”, which gets a HUGE pop from the crowd, as always. Meanwhile, Renee is waiting outside a door marked “John Cena” which might as well be a janitor’s closet. He emerges to show off how delusional he is about what the fans think of him, before reverting to goofy Cena mode by making reference to a goat named Glutius, which he is going to purchase for his old buddy Bray.

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

He finishes by singing a little of that same bloody song, messing up the rather easy lyrics in the process, and scuttles off. Bad News Barrett has his podium back! But he’s in his ring gear because, in spite of the fact that we have yet to hear about it at all tonight, he actually has a match now. His bad news is that RVD is going to lose, and that his slogan should be “Then”, a play on the famous WWE slogan. He then uses RVD’s thumb thing to do BNB instead, which is awesome.

skully skull#1 Contender Tournament for Intercontinental Championship: Final: Bad News Barrett -v- Rob Van Dam
Although it still seems odd that Cesaro isn’t in the finals of this tournament, it’s great to see Barrett getting a little push, though neither he nor RVD gets a major reaction as they enter. Big E is still watching backstage, but he has at least covered himself up a bit since last week, so he probably isn’t freezing his butt off this time around. The action kicks off immediately, with both keen to take the lead. RVD, in particular, is lighter on his feet than usual, jumping and flipping and bouncing around the place like a loon, even if the crowd are picking up on the BNB chant instead of his own. BNB throws RVD into the announce table, before getting him into a nice setup, balancing off the top ropes so he can grab his arm. As we return from commercials, RVD is in a headlock but the crowd have switched to cheering for him anyway, possibly because he’s swearing a lot. He powers out of a headlock, and flips BNB over, but he kicks out of the pin. There are then two clotheslines in a row, which make it seem as though the end is in sight, before Cesaro turns up to protest over his lack of involvement. But, before he can intervene, Swagger turns up and tackles him from behind, leading him to be thrown into a startled girl’s lap. Back in the ring, Cesaro tries to stop the Frog Splash, leading RVD to perform the Rolling Thunder instead, but BNB counters with his knees and delivers the Bullhammer, winning in the process.
Winner: Bad News Barrett (B! N! B!)

Once the bell has rung, Swagger attacks Cesaro properly, and the camera pans over to reveal a chick in the front row, wearing a Shield mask and taking selfies – the people sitting in the four or five rows behind her must be thrilled. Swagger tackles RVD next, screaming “We The People” in the process, before RVD performs the Frog Splash on Cesaro. Heyman looks pissed, but waddles off back to his hole regardless. Then, we are teased once more about the seemingly far superior Shield match that featured on SD last week, which is just plain cruel as tonight is an overload of theatrics with little to no actual combat.

@WrasslorMonkey

@WrasslorMonkey

Speaking of The Shield, they’re hanging out backstage in the smallest hallway in the history of the world (seriously, they might as well be waiting for Willy Wonka down there), dripping wet as always. Rollins doesn’t care if he has one big ol’ strand of hair in his face, he’s going to deliver this promo anyway, yo! He holds the camera for no reason throughout – it’s clearly not a handheld, come on – which Reigns does not emulate when he takes over, to explain how his fist represents everything from pain and justice to French toast and Sunday morning lie-ins. They finish by fisting each other (oo-er), as usual.

skully skullMain Event: Randy Orton -v- Roman Reigns
Orton being in the Main Event is a pain in the ass because it means he’s going to enter with the other two bowling ball heads in tow, and we therefore have to hear that goddamn song and Lemmy’s unsure pronunciation of the word “evolution” yet again. This is his home town, so he’s disturbingly happy tonight (he’s more intimidating when he smiles) and he even does the pose twice, for our viewing pleasure. Triple H takes the mic first, which Orton looks none too pleased about, and opines that The Shield remind him of Evolution, except that they still have hair and don’t dress like low-rung, oily Cuban businessmen. Ric Flair emerges, to respectful applause, looking as though he cannot stand up for longer than ten minutes at a time, let alone walk in a straight line, and Batista is immediately pissed that the old dude has stolen his sunglasses-and-ill-fitting-suit combo. Flair prattles on for much too long about, eh, something, even looking as though he’s addressing the ref at one point (Orton and Trips actually turn around in confusion), before remarking that Evoltion “exude style”. So he is hammered, then. The Shield, who entered while he was making his five-hour descent to the ring, are reluctant to shake his hand, but do so anyway, out of politeness, or because they are faces now and have no choice. Evolution are pissed at this supposed subordination, which leads Reigns to kick things off against Orton, with a whole mess of uppercuts and a classic Samoan head-butt. Continuing the action outside the ring, Orton delivers a back-breaker – a moment which is punctuated by some utter genius seizing his moment to say “Back it up, Old Spice” to Boo-tista/Trips/both – before pointing to random front row occupants, who are possibly family/old lovers/both. He then throws Reigns into the steps, drags him back into the ring and catches him in a headlock. Reigns tries for the Superman Punch but is distracted by a scuffle outside the ring between young and sexy and old and melty, giving Orton the opportunity to deliver another back-breaker. Outside, Ambrose takes on Trips, Rollins takes on Boo, and Reigns decides to leave and help out. Orton takes the opportunity to pin him, and force him back into the fight, before throwing Rollins into the barricade. He then throws Ambrose into Trips, who administers the Spine-buster. The balder, older members of Evolution slowly undo their cufflinks, and Trips goes for the Pedigree but Rollins interrupts, leading Reigns to deliver a Spear. The three go for the Triple Power Bomb on Trips, but are thwarted by the other baldies, who are armed with steel chairs, which they then nab, before standing there glowering away as Evolution run away like scared little cream puffs.
Winners: The Shield (by DQ, but still)

ortonflairStrangely enough, this was quite a standard end to a go-home show, with the good guys getting pummelled before their triumphant return on the PPV. It was the only part that made sense, with the rest of the show showcasing the soapy, theatrical side of pro-wrestling instead of the usual ass-kicking to which we’ve become accustomed, especially over the past few weeks. It wasn’t necessarily a bad episode, just an odd one.

But thankfully, Extreme Rules isn’t a particularly huge PPV, so it doesn’t really matter that no heat was built for Bray v Cena or that Rusev is getting a match in place of more-deserving people. Clearly the WEE-L-C on the pre-show will be the highlight, so let’s all look forward to that. In the meantime, there must be another case somewhere we can gawk at?

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